Organisations and businesses across the country are becoming victims of cyber attacks and fraud at an alarming rate, but charities and third sector bodies find themselves in a uniquely vulnerable position.

Thanks to their constant exposure to the public and frequent work with vulnerable people, charities often hold vast amounts of sensitive data that they are obliged to protect; yet limited funding can present barriers in terms of accessing cyber security training and resources.

Formed through a collaboration between organisations including the Sottish Government, Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, Police Scotland and other trusted partners, the CyberScotland Partnership is aiming to revolutionise charity and third sector access to cyber security advice.

One component of this mission is the partnership’s series of free-to-attend roadshows, which will take place in the capital as part of the upcoming CyberScotland Week. The trio of roadshows will see cyber experts join trusted partners to share insights into four key cyber security topics for 2024, along with an ‘Exercise in a Box’ session to allow attending charities and third sector organisations to put their cyber skills to the test.

ScotlandIS and SCVO, meanwhile, will come together to deliver a conference solely dedicated to third sector cyber security. Combining case studies, interactive workshops led by industry experts and networking opportunities, the conference will feature speakers including Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance MSP and is aimed at giving a hands-on experience to third sector employees of all levels, from interested employees to IT specialists to board members and trustees.

Events hosted by other CyberScotland partners during CyberScotland Week will encompass a broad range of cyber security topics. The Scottish Social Services Council, for example, will host an event in Dundee focussing on cyber security within social services, while YouthLink Scotland and Police Scotland’s Cybercrime Harm Prevention Unit will unite to educate those working in a youth setting on how best to advise and protect young people in the online world.  A unique Cybermarathon, meanwhile, will feature 24 live online events over 24 hours, with the intention of facilitating viewers from around the world to engage with cybersecurity, and a Neighbourhood Watch Scotland event will provide online safety tips for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

With around a quarter of UK charities experiencing a cyber-attack in 2022 – 23, third sector organisations are under pressure to ensure that their data can be protected, and there’s no room for complacency. Through this year’s CyberScotland Week events, we hope to level the playing field in terms of access to cyber security expertise and give charities a boost in strengthening their strategy and systems.

Visit the CyberScotland Week website to find out more –